'Diskarteng Kontraktor': A closer look at Alvin's life as a builder

Alvin M.

Contractor
-
Manila, Philippines

Boss Alvin was born in the province of Nueva Ecija. Being the eldest of three children, he spent his childhood studying and felt the financial burden of his parents, who were both shoemakers, in raising them. This situation made him decide at the age of 12 to also work to sustain his education and lessen the responsibilities of his parents instead of playing with other kids. He has been exposed to the construction world as he frequently worked with his uncle who was a construction foreman. He continued his job in his teenage years which made his heart fall into the construction work as time passed.

After graduating high school, Alvin decided to take a short vocational course that was related to construction, but he dropped out during the first semester due to the lack of finances to provide for his own family. He needed to find a stable source of income at an early age to provide for their needs, and this prevented him from finishing even a short vocational course no matter how he wanted to continue it. He even considered working while studying, but the salary that he might receive as an entry-level employee would not be enough for his daily regular meals and his transportation going back and forth to his house, school, and work. There will be nothing left for his own family if he decides to continue his studies while hunting for a job.

When Alvin finally got a job in 1995, he was fortunate as he was able to use the knowledge he gained from his short vocational course and childhood job because he was hired as a construction laborer, as he always wanted to be in this industry. 

Although the job was only seasonal or on a per-project basis, which was not enough to sustain his family’s needs, he willingly submitted to it to still earn and learn. After months of being on a part-time job in construction, he was asked by another friend if he would be interested in also being a part-time conductor of a public utility vehicle while waiting for new construction projects. He grabbed the opportunity to keep his pocket at least half full. Also only months of being a transportation conductor, he realized that his heart was not in it but in construction works. He talked to his public utility vehicle operator about his desire to go back to construction and this time in full swing. His friend understood and supported his decision. On his next venture into construction, he was determined to earn and learn more, so he applied not only to what job vacancies were available but to what he wanted to do. 

During this period, Alvin married Merlinda, and the couple had 3 daughters, Maria Eliana, Maria Sophia Lyn, and Maria Veronica Ann  – the Tres Marias - as he says.

Alvin’s construction career officially started flourishing after landing in commercial buildings in 2006. It is here that he learned the basics of construction such as slicing of metals, alignment, clustering, finishing, and painting. Several months later, he was offered to be a leadman in another construction company where he started earning even more, but only at PhP 137 per day, which was still far from PhP 350 minimum wage at that time. 

In 2015, knowing that Alvin’s rate did not fit his skills anymore, he decided to leave his work and confidently risked everything to be an independent contractor. He started doing small renovations alone in his neighborhood. Having gained credibility to the community in years of doing work in his neighborhood, he managed to have 7 neighbors to work with him and do small ground-up projects. His construction journey in the neighborhood made him well-adept in the industry but had no access to big contracts and biddings.

He realized it one day when he tried to bid on a call for proposals for a bigger project.

He had to prove he could put his money upfront for financing all projects and paying employees, with just a 15 to 25% down payment from the developer. The rest of the money would arrive much later, usually months after because the developer wanted to first sell the house.

Even with courage and hard work, these kinds of contracts were not accessible to him, so Alvin thought he reached the maximum of growth.

Until one real estate agent he knew introduced Alvin to Lhoopa. He joined as a partner contractor in 2019. He was not familiar with the platform at that time yet he wanted to see if this would work for him. 

Alvin was awarded with 2 small renovation projects in 2 weeks with his 7 manpower. His hard work, care for people, and quality of output gained him  Lhoopa’s trust and confidence and as of this writing, Alvin could reach bigger projects. Today he has already delivered 263 units to happy and satisfied homeowners.

He started with only himself then 7 manpower from his neighborhood and grew to 42 from different areas in 4 years which to him is now his extended family, laborers, painters, carpenters, masons, to foremen and their respective families.

Have an inquiry? Connect with us.

Contact Us

Follow us on:

Social media blue icon - Facebook
Social media blue icon - Instagram
Social media blue icon - Linked In
Social media blue icon - Youtube

Latest Stories

Prudencio C.

Homeowner
-
Manila, Philippines

Home at Last: Tatay Jojo shares joy in finally having a place to call home.

Tatay Jojo, a mason, overcame educational limitations and multiple rejections through persistence and dedication, realizing his dream of owning a house.

Read more
Home at Last: Tatay Jojo shares joy in finally having a place to call home.

Rochelle A.

Broker
-
Manila, Philippines

The heart and hustles of mom-preneur, Rochelle.

Agent Rochelle's optimistic and persistent attitude, amidst all hardships, fueled her to achieve her lifelong dreams even at a young age.

Read more
The heart and hustles of mom-preneur, Rochelle.

Robert C.

Homeowner
-
Manila, Philippines

From renting a room to owning a home: Robert, a bus conductor, journeys towards homeownership.

Robert, a bus conductor who initially believed that owning a home was an unattainable dream, soon realized that it was indeed possible for individuals like him to achieve homeownership.

Read more
From renting a room to owning a home: Robert, a bus conductor, journeys towards homeownership.